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Healthy and Creative Alternatives to Violence

It is important to take care of our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being all year round. Fitness training and physical activity promotes good physical health and can help develop self-esteem, confidence and leadership skills. Accessible and holistic programs and services encourage active living, creative expression and personal well being for women, children and men are an important part of living well, free from violence. Physical activity and creative artistic projects can help channel negative feelings into positive energy. When people feel good about themselves, they feel good about others as well.

Suggested Activities

  • Self-defence classes - Hold a free or pay what you can self-defence, Wen-do, Aikido, Jujitsu or Karate class at a YWCA facility or another location in your community.
  • Youth on Board - Ask local youth groups if they would like to organize an activity or event. Peer leaders encourage open discussion about experience with violence, sexism, racism and discrimination. Workshops might include on skateboarding, rollerblading, rock climbing, Hip Hop, Rap or web-design.  Just make sure that if you choose adventure sports, that you have insurance to cover any liabilities.
  • Free-time Events - Try to secure free passes to museums, zoos, movie theatres, drama productions or amusement parks
  • Create Alternatives to Violence - Invite students to create murals, masks, clay pottery or other forms of art that express feelings of conflict or feelings of security.
  • Caring for the Care Giver - Organize an event especially for your front line staff. Collect donated gifts for them and honour their hard work and dedication.
  • Focus on Sport - Playing sports is fun, and it’s great exercise. All too often though, a focus on winning, rough playing, and jeering comments from spectators, parents and coaches make people feel bad. Organize a special coaching session or game that highlights what it takes to feel good - praise what you can do (even if you make mistakes) and team spirit. Emphasize co-operation by forming co-ed teams or teams of mixed ages, or organize an activity that almost everyone can join- such as a "Walk/Roll-a-thon", a "Bike Ride to Put the Brakes on Violence" or a "Swim Against the Tide of Violence."

Looking for women’s anti-violence resources in Canada to help you plan your event or connect with a community partner?  Check out our extensive list.